I grew up in Strongsville, Ohio. At the end of my street, about four hundred feet from my driveway, there was a Sohio gas station. In 1977 I started to hang out there. Times at the gas station were much different back then. You would pull up to the pump, a bell rings inside and the “gas station guy” would come out and fill up your tank. When no one was wanting gas the “gas station guy” would work on a car that was in need of service in the garage. I was thirteen. I thought this type of atmosphere was great. I soon discovered the evils that permeated the gas station.

They had a cigarette machine. I had a bunch of quarters in my piggy bank so I started buying packs of Vantage. I didn’t know ya had to inhale so I could have experienced the same thing by just being inside aa burning building. They had stacks of porn. I thought it was cool but in hindsight it’s a bit disturbing to imagine a man in his twenties passing the time at his job by reading Penthouse forum. They had weed. That’s right. Smoked a joint before I ever tasted alcohol. Thirty-eight bucks for an ounce of Columbian Gold. At this point in my life I sincerely thought I landed on Fantasy Island.

Mom put a stop to me going to the gas station when she caught me with some H-100’s. H-100’s are equal to a quarter stick of dynamite. I bought a gross of them for forty bucks at where else????? The gas station!!! For FUN us kids would go into the woods and put H-100’s in freaking trees and we would just laugh as a ten year old maple eviserated into a pile of mulch. Who needs a video game when you can enjoy the great outdoors while blowing shit up?? Gas stations sure are different today. You can get a freaking latte’, some lottery tickets, a ham sandwich and a snow brush except you pump your own gas. They now refer to this place as a “convenience store.” I will always remember what it used to be before it went through rehab. It was the portal to temptation. It was and always will be…..the GAS STATION!!!!

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